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ABC Family changing name to draw more young viewers


ABC Family is changing its name.

The Disney-owned cable channel is undergoing a moniker rebranding that ditches “Family” — a word that’s been part of the network’s identity for nearly 30 years across several previous name changes.

Starting in January, ABC Family will be known as Freeform.

The switch is part of an effort to attract more of what the network calls “Becomers,” viewers between the ages of 14 and 34.

The network’s programming style — led by shows like Pretty Little Liars, The Fosters, and Young and Hungry — will essentially remain the the same.

“For us, this doesn’t feel like a radical depature, this is an evolution,” ABC Family president Tom Ascheim explained to EW. “For the last 10-to-12 years, we’ve been targeting young people, Millennnials, and then something happened. Millennials started getting older. The oldest ones are nearly 40. So do we follow Millennials or stay with the ‘life stage’ that got us here?”

The network’s executives decided remain focused on telling stories capturing viewers who were “navigating the wonderful, fun, exciting, and scary time in life when you experience the most firsts – first car, first apartment, first job, first love, first heartbreak – all the firsts that exists between who they are and who they want to become.”

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